Congratulations to our 2019 Artist Fellows!
About the Artist Fellowship
The Regional Arts Commission’s Artist Fellowship serves to foster and invest in the careers of St. Louis artists of all disciplines by providing funds to allow for more time and space to study, reflect, experiment, explore, practice, and create. The goal is to advance the individual artist’s creative journey. This annual Artist Fellowship recognizes artistic excellence and honors the work of seasoned artists, advances the work of mid-career artists, and nurtures the work of developing artists.
Tom Brady began his journey into performance as art in 1970, while exploring the limits of sculpture as stage and performance as art at both Kansas (BFA) and Rutgers Universities (MFA). He found performance art in college and craved the experience, the juxtaposition of elements, that transformative moment during a performance where art wasn’t static but dynamic.
Brady has performed in New York at Franklin Furnace as well as PS1 Contemporary Arts Center and in Chicago at Links Hall. In St. Louis, he has exhibited and performed at COCA’s Anhesuer Busch Black Box Theatre, Laumeier Sculpture Park, 3 Sinks Gallery in Webster, and most recently at Satori, his studio at 3003 Locust Street. Brady produced Prodigal, creating and building three stages in Forest Park to critical acclaim in 2009.
Brady has evolved into a talented and prolific composer, designer, sculptor, photographer, and performer. He conceives, designs, builds, and musically accompanies the installations in which he places himself. He then becomes an acrobat, a Zen master, a clown, a body behind a mask, or a nucleus of whirling lights and images. Constantly playing with the level of information that the audience receives, his work sculpts light and shadow to create magical images and reflections on the state of being.
As artistic and executive director of ANNONYArts a not-for-profit organization founded by Beckah (Voigt) Reed, Brady has supported countless artists producing original movement-based work expanding the vocabulary of art making.
After working with students in St. Louis Public School, for more than 25 years, Brady conducts an Art and Tech workshop for elementary and middle school students attending The Alternative School.
Gregory S. Carr
playwright, actor, teaching artist
A native of St. Louis, Gregory S. Carr is an instructor of speech and theatre at Harris-Stowe State University as well as an accomplished director, playwright, actor, and published writer.
His award-winning plays Johnnie Taylor Is Gone and A Colored Funeral were produced at the historic Karamu House in Cleveland and the Cleveland Playhouse. Gregory’s play Tinderbox, which focuses on the events leading up to the devastating East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917, was performed as a Reader’s Theatre at the SIUE East St. Louis Performance Center in conjunction with the East St. Louis 1917 Centennial Commission and Cultural Initiative. Gregory’s most recent play, Live from Ferguson! dramatizes the events leading up to the shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent Ferguson unrest.
Currently, Carr is developing a script about the 62nd and 65th United State Colored Troops called Brethren and performing his one-man show Standing on the Promises: James Milton Turner and the Promise of America.
Jacqui Germain is a St. Louis-based poet and freelance writer. She has received fellowships from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Poetry Foundation’s Emerging Poets Incubator. She was selected as the 2018 Audre Lorde Fellow for Jack Jones Literary Arts.
Germain is author of When the Ghosts Come Ashore (2016) and has been featured in the HuffingtonPost, St. Louis Public Radio, and Ploughshares Journal’sActivist Poet Spotlight Series. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Offing, Muzzle Magazine, Connotation Press, and more, and have been anthologized in several collections, most recently The End of Chiraq: A Literary Mixtape (Spring 2018) and Bettering American Poetry, Volume 3 (Fall 2018). Germain has also performed and competed on national and regional stages across the country and coached Washington University’s slam poetry team to semi-finals at college nationals (CUPSI) in 2016.
As a freelance writer, her essays and articles have been published in The Nation, Broadly, The New Inquiry, The Establishment, Salon, and elsewhere. Her freelance journalism explores a number of different critical conversations and offers fresh, original reporting and commentary on relevant political and cultural dialogues, grassroots organizing, and more. With years of experience in student and community organizing, much of her writing explores multi-layered understandings of black, brown, and indigenous wellness and resistance work. She serves as Poetry Editor for december magazine and is an arts and culture contributing writer with ALIVE Magazine, where she crafts feature profiles and interviews celebrating artists, entrepreneurs, and creatives across the Midwest.
author, poet, storyteller
A visual storyteller, poet, author, and award-winning advertising copywriter, two-time TEDxGatewayArch speaker, 2016 apexart International Arts Fellow, and Storytelling Fellow at InPower Institute a division of Emerging Wisdom, Cheeraz Gormon is every bit a native daughter of St. Louis. As a poet, Gormon has opened for scholars Cornell West, Dennis Kimbrow, Ph.D., MacArthur Genius educator and curator Dr. Deborah Willi`s and has performed on stages nationally and internationally. Her poetry has been featured on Ebony Magazine online, Huffington Post, St. Louis Public Radio, and on-air in London and Portland, Oregon.
She is a member of St. Louis-based Screwed Arts Collective, founding committee member of the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival, founder and co-executive director of Sonic Arts United, a S.T.E.A.M. based nonprofit, and founder and executive director of Sibling Support Network, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting people who have lost siblings to a violent crime.
In 2018, Cheeraz was named the 2018 St. Louis Visionary Awards Outstanding Working Artist Honoree and in the same year was recognized by DELUX Magazine as one of St. Louis’ 50 Most Inspiring Women. In the fall of 2018, Cheeraz made her acting debut with the St. Louis Black Repertory Company in the role of Evangelist Antigone in the play The Gospel at Colonus. Cheeraz is featured in TIME Magazine’s Guns in America issue for her work with Sibling Support Network.
mixed media artist
Margaret Keller works in related series using installation, drawing, digital media, painting, sculpture, and printmaking, as she examines the relationships between nature, contemporary culture, and technology.
Current series include looking at surveillance, natural disasters, and our experience of nature and the landscape in this digital age. She also focuses on the curatorial and critical aspects of contemporary art, with many published reviews, including Delicious Line, Art in America, All the Art, and Temporary Art Review.
Exhibits include galleries, museums, and collections in Berlin, Chicago, Atlanta, California, Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, Maryland, Wisconsin, Arkansas, New York, Beijing, and others. Recently, her art was at Quadratfuß/NX2-Annex Art (Berlin), The Arkansas Art Center Museum (Little Rock), The Gallery at RAC (St. Louis), the Contemporary Art Museum (St. Louis), Gallery 210 (St. Louis), and The Mitchell Museum (Mt. Vernon, Illinois). Her public art commission Riverbend, a 105-foot-long aluminum representation of the navigable Missouri River, was installed at the Gateway Arch National Park. Her one-person exhibit The Space Between is on display at The William and Florence Schmidt Art Center Museum (Belleville, Illinois).
Keller taught full-time from 1993 to 2018 as professor of art in drawing, painting, design, and art history at St. Louis Community College-Meramec; she was also a visiting associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis and in Florence, Italy. She is a signature member of both the National Watercolor Society and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.
Harvey E.A. Lockhart
saxophonist, educator, composer
Harvey E.A. Lockhart has been involved with the arts since birth via his artistic family. During his career, Lockhart has had the opportunity to work with and share the stage with many great artists. Lockhart performs throughout St. Louis and the region with his quartet and the Jazz St. Louis Big Band.
As an educator, Harvey has been passionate about teaching, performance, and mentoring since 2000, in both the public and private sectors. Since 2010, Lockhart has been the band director at Riverview Gardens High School in north St. Louis County where he has been rebuilding its music program.
Harvey is the founder, executive and artistic director for HEAL Center for the Arts, a nonprofit, multi-disciplinary center of music, arts learning, and performance for St. Louis’ urban communities. The center provides arts education programs to middle and high school students.
Harvey is also the founder and director of the Sheldon Concert Hall’s North County Big Band. This collaborative big band is made up of 20 of the most talented and dedicated students from several St. Louis area high schools.
Lockhart has a B.S. in music education from Florida A&M University and an M.M. from Northern Illinois University. He is a research author for the second edition of the text Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz by Ronald Carter. In January of 2017, Lockhart received the St. Louis Arts Educator of the Year Award from the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.
William Morris is a St. Louis-based video artist with 30 years in the medium and roots in the city’s north side. He is a graduate of Washington University School of Fine Arts and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Morris’ work is represented by Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis. In addition to Bruno David, his work has shown at Citygarden, the Saint Louis Film Festival, the Missouri History Museum, and the Saint Louis Art Museum. Internationally, his videos have been shown in Paris, Foça Izmir, Turkey, and Busan, South Korea. As a drummer and guitarist, he has appeared with the musical collective Sleet. His most recent work is installed in the Angad Arts Hotel in St. Louis.
Tim Portlock’s work combines special effects software and the visual conventions of 19th-century American painting to creatively simulate contemporary cityscapes. In recent years, his large format print images have depicted imagined landscapes populated with the empty buildings that surround his home as well as developments in post-boom and bust Las Vegas and San Bernardino. Other work uses large outdoor video projections onto buildings, creating temporary public art that incorporates new media and the visual language of murals while engaging with architecture and city space.
Portlock has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His exhibitions include SPRING/BREAK Art Show, PULSE New York, Broadstone Studios in Dublin as part of Photo Ireland (2012), Christie’s of London, represented by Philagrafika (2012), the Tate Modern as a member of the artist collective Vox Populi (2011), the International Guerrilla Video Festival in Dublin (2009), and This is Not a Gateway, a group exhibition of outdoor video projections in London (2009). Portlock has also exhibited at the 404 Festival in Argentina and Italy, the ISEA electronic arts festival in Japan, and Ars Electronica, Austria.
Dan Rubright is a jazz guitarist and composer whose work has spanned many genres including jazz, world, classical, pop, rock, and experimental music. “I’m always trying to listen for the light in a composition, taking my cue from where it leads, intuitively.”
His latest project, The Dan Rubright Group features his original “retro-modern” jazz compositions. The group recently toured to Colorado and released its first album in November 2018. Rubright also leads and composes the music for the Wire Pilots, an eclectic jazz-world group that bridges jazz, Brazilian, Latin. and rock.
He has worked as an in-demand guitarist for many years for a variety of groups including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, The Fabulous Fox, The Muny, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Erin Bode Group and artists including Denise Thimes, Paul DeMarinis, Steve Davis, Chris Cheek, Ted Rubright, Peter Henderson, Willie Aikens, Peter Mayer, and others.
He has written five film scores, including Stem Cell Divide in 2008 and Emmy-Award winning PBS nationally aired documentary, Oh Freedom After While in 2001.
Rubright attended the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music and Webster University where he received a B.A. and M.M. in jazz performance with honors. He then joined the jazz faculty at Webster University, where he taught undergraduate and graduate jazz guitar as well as jazz theory, commercial composition, songwriting, and other courses for twenty years.
multidisciplinary performance director
Born in Los Angeles in 1990, Audrey Nicole Simes directs multidisciplinary performances at the intersection of dance, theater, music, projection, and installation art. She earned a B.A. from Webster University in a self-designed interdisciplinary concentration in performance art and attended American College Dance Festivals and the New York University Summer Dance Intensive.
Simes is co-director of FloSTL, an emerging dance theater company and artist collective in St. Louis. Her independent works and performances have been showcased at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, the Grandel, Saint Louis International Film Festival, Regional Arts Commission, Hoffman LaChance Contemporary, Mad Art Gallery, Kranzberg Arts Center, Dancing in the Streets, Saint Lou Fringe, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Artica, and Copenhagen Artists in Residence. Simes’ work has been exhibited in concert with the Big Muddy Dance Company, Ashleyliane Dance Company, Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, and Leverage Dance Theater. Simes was selected as St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Arts and Theater Rising Star in 2016 for Tributary, which shed light on the nuclear waste contamination at Coldwater Creek in north St. Louis.
The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) is at the forefront of efforts to transform St. Louis into a more vibrant, creative and economically thriving community by elevating the vitality, value, and visibility of the arts. It is the largest annual funder of the arts in the region, and since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 7,000 grants totaling over $100 million to support nonprofit arts, individual artists, cultural organizations, and programs. Directed by a board of 15 commissioners appointed by the chief executives of St. Louis City and St. Louis County, RAC is a pivotal force in the continuing development and marketing of the arts in the region.